Muddy Pats Prevail

Posted in Gridiron at 6:44 pm by

With about 10 minutes remaining in the long-awaited Billick/Belicheck Bowl, there were only 2 points left to ponder :

1) Do the pigtails really work for Bonnie Bernstein? Discuss.
2) Is the “BB” monogram on Belicheck’s sweatshirt really necessary, and would it really do him any good with kleptomaniacs like Brian Billick and Bonnie Bernstein prowling the sidelines?

Frank Rich On Manufactured Outrage

Posted in Free Expression at 2:53 pm by

So what got people more bent out of shape, the actual broadcast of T.O. & Nicolette Sheridan in (and out) of a towel, or the constant reminders that said footage was supposedly offensive? The New York Times’ Frank Rich thinks it over.

Though seen nationwide, and as early as 6 p.m. on the West Coast, the spot initially caused so little stir that the next morning only two newspapers in the country, both in Philadelphia, reported on it. ABC’s switchboards were not swamped by shocked viewers on Monday night. A spokesman for ABC Sports told The Philadelphia Inquirer that he hadn’t received a single phone call or e-mail in the immediate aftermath of the broadcast.

Even the stunned Rush Limbaugh, curiously enough, didn’t get around to mounting his own diatribe until Wednesday. Mr. Owens’s agent, David Joseph, says that the flood of complaints at his office and Mr. Owens’s Web site also didn’t start until more than 24 hours after the incident – late Tuesday and early Wednesday. Were any of these complainants actual victims (or even viewers) of “Monday Night Football” or were they just a mob assembled after the fact by “family” groups, emboldened by their triumph in smiting “Saving Private Ryan” from 66 ABC stations the week before? Though the F.C.C. said on Wednesday that it had received 50,000 complaints about the N.F.L. affair, it couldn’t determine how many of them were duplicates – the kind generated by e-mail campaigns run by political organizations posting form letters ready to be clicked into cyberspace ad infinitum by anyone who has an index finger and two seconds of idle time.

Like the Janet Jackson video before it, the new N.F.L. sex tape was now being rebroadcast around the clock so we could revel incessantly in the shock of it all. “People were so outraged they had to see it 10 times,” joked Aaron Brown of CNN, which was no slacker in filling that need in the marketplace. And yet when I spoke to an F.C.C. enforcement spokesman after more than two days of such replays, the agency had not yet received a single complaint about the spot’s constant recycling on other TV shows, among them the highly rated talk show “The View,” where Ms. Sheridan’s bare back had been merrily paraded at the child-friendly hour of 11 a.m.

The hypocrisy embedded in this tale is becoming a national running gag. As in the Super Bowl brouhaha, in which the N.F.L. maintained it had no idea that MTV might produce a racy halftime show, the league has denied any prior inkling of the salaciousness on tap this time – even though the spot featured the actress playing the sluttiest character in prime time’s most libidinous series and was shot with the full permission of one of the league’s teams in its own locker room. Again as in the Jackson case, we are also asked to believe that pro football is what Pat Buchanan calls “the family entertainment, the family sports show” rather than what it actually is: a Boschian jamboree of bumping-and-grinding cheerleaders, erectile-dysfunction pageantry and, as Don Imus puts it, “wife-beating drug addicts slamming the hell out of each other” on the field.

“Desperate Housewives” is hardly a blue-state phenomenon. A hit everywhere, it is even a bigger hit in Oklahoma City than it is in Los Angeles, bigger in Kansas City than it is in New York. All those public moralists who wail about all the kids watching Ms. Sheridan on “Monday Night Football” would probably have apoplexy if they actually watched what Ms. Sheridan was up to in her own series – and then looked closely at its Nielsen numbers. Though children ages 2 to 11 make up a small percentage of the audience of either show, there are actually more in that age group tuning into Mr. Cherry’s marital brawls (870,000) than into the N.F.L.’s fisticuffs (540,000). “Desperate Housewives” also ranks No. 5 among all prime-time shows for ages 12-17. (“Monday Night Football” is No. 18.) This may explain in part why its current advertisers include products like Fisher-Price toys, the DVD of “Elf” and the forthcoming Tim Allen holiday vehicle, “Christmas With the Kranks.”

O’s Ponder Free Agent Options

Posted in Baseball at 2:39 pm by

So many ways to finish no higher than 3rd next year, as the Baltimore Sun’s Roch Kubatko surveys the scene.

Pitcher Carl Pavano and his representative, Scott Shapiro, will fly into Baltimore the night of Dec. 5 and meet the following day with Flanagan and executive vice president Jim Beattie. Shapiro is hopeful that his client also will be introduced to majority owner Peter Angelos and pitching coach Ray Miller. The crab cakes can wait.

Pavano will be the first free agent to visit the Orioles, but he has already stopped in Boston and also is scheduled to meet officials from the Detroit Tigers, New York Yankees, Seattle Mariners and Anaheim Angels.

Not much has changed for the Orioles since they left the general managers’ meetings last month in Key Biscayne, Fla. They still want to add at least one front-line starter, with Brad Radke, Derek Lowe and Eric Milton also on their radar. They still want a first baseman, and regard Carlos Delgado, Richie Sexson and Troy Glaus as possibilities — though Glaus wants to stay at third base. They are sorting through their options in center and right field, which keeps Carlos Beltran and Magglio Ordonez in play.

Presented with these names over the weekend, Flanagan said: “Those haven’t changed. They have not been eliminated — by them or by us.”

Former Oriole Steve Finley, 39, would be a solution in center field, though shorter-term than Beltran, and the two sides have talked.

It’s believed that Finley will command a two-year deal with an annual salary exceeding the $6.75 million he earned last season. The Tigers have been aggressively pursuing him, but an Orioles source said, “He’s not a major player for us right now. They touched base with us and we haven’t eliminated anything, but it hasn’t gone any further than that.”

Like many teams, the Orioles appear to be keeping Finley on the back burner until determining whether they can sign Beltran, who most likely will string along teams for most of the winter. The Orioles don’t want to wait too long and lose out on other players, and Finley eventually should be in hot demand.

The Orioles need bullpen help after Jason Grimsley underwent ligament-replacement surgery on his right elbow. They’re still deciding whether to add a closer and return B.J. Ryan (above) to a setup role.

They never inquired about free agent Troy Percival, who signed a two-year, $12 million deal with the Tigers, and aren’t expected to bid for former Oriole Armando Benitez because of the expected cost, which soared after he posted 47 saves and a 1.29 ERA with the Florida Marlins last season.

One team official described Benitez as “a long shot.”

In any event, you can count on the Orioles to sign their 3rd or 4th choice in most instances, either that or grossly overpay for the guy they really wanted.

Vescey On The Turmoil In Memphis

Posted in Basketball at 2:14 pm by

The New York Post’s Peter Vescey takes a look at the real scoop behind Hubie Brown’s sudden departure from the Grizzlies.

Health permitting, Hubie, 71, was on course to coach out his three-year, $11 million contract. Next season the plan was to reward him big time ($5M) with a one-year farewell tour after which he’d retire simultaneously with West, 66, the draftsman responsible for the Hall of Fame TV analyst returning to his preferred profession following a 16-year absence.

Judging by the sorrowful sight and sound of Jerry West (above) at Friday’s press conference, Hubie’s untimely exit could easily hasten his own premature exodus. Coming off last season’s 50-win, first-round playoff finish, losing your league-honored coach and eight of the first 13 games is definitely not how things are supposed to be going in Memphis.

A confessed serial skeptic, I, nonetheless, almost certainly would’ve believed Hubie had he stated health as his singular cause for leaving. In all probability, I would’ve allowed West to ease into hiring Mike Fratello – whom he enthusiastically endorsed to Rod Thorn just before the Nets’ boss appointed Byron Scott – and kept any follow-up cynicism behind this sudden flight to a bare minimum.

Clearly, Hubie tried his best to take the ultimate high road. Then he added shortness of oomph to the equation. Offered a second motive for hightailing it. Declared his spirit, energy and passion were kaput; therefore, he had to go, too. Hubie could’ve left it with really not feeling all that well (“there’s nothing specific,” says a source, “but close to it”), but, perhaps, in all good conscience, was compelled to take his startling sendoff a step further.

Consequently, so must we. After 50 or so years around the game you don’t just lose your passion overnight, or over two or three weeks, it has to be pounded out of you. Something had to happen to turn off and shut down Hubie so completely.

So, what happened? To begin with, resentment abounded when retread Brian Cardinal arrived flaunting a 6-year, $37M free agent contract and Pau Gasol was rewarded with $86M over the same span.

Several players were overcome with envy, expressly rising free agents Bonzi Wells, who half-stepped through pre-season with a pulled hamstring, and Stromile Swift, who was unable to leverage a $10M per long-term deal out of Memphis and thus was forced to “settle” for the one-year, $6M qualifier.

Jealousy quickly deteriorated into selfishness, and did it ever show. The team’s first three games against the Wizards (seven short of a rotation), Rockets and Mavericks were disgraceful exhibitions of individualism, though, for the most part, the team concept has prevailed since.

Hubie’s pet, James Posey, made matters worse by showing up in camp with a swelled head and a bloated body; it’s uncertain when he sprained his foot, but after three games he was ordered to the injured list to rehab his act and ailment.

Furthermore, West was unable to acquire Erick Dampier in a sign-and-trade with the Warriors, but did match the Cavaliers’ three-year, $1.9M per offer sheet to Jake Tsakalidis. Meaning Hubie again had three centers he’s not especially fond of – Lorenzen Wright, Swift and Tsakalidis.

With apologies to the Chicago Tribune’s Sam Smith, whose perspective I incorrectly refuted, West and Hubie were hardly friction-free. It seems the coaching staff was upset with West’s decision to release Bo Outlaw and Troy Bell versus two second-rounders. Hubie was particularly unhappy to be the one forced to notify them when he caught wind GM Dick Versace was about to alert the media.

On top of that, when Tennessee was burning, West was in Europe. When the team was losing ugly early and often, players were going off on their own agendas and Williams was in Brendan Brown’s face, giving him a profane earful, the Grizzlies’ boss was on an extended scouting trip. When such flagrant disrespect demanded discipline, the franchise commander was overseas.

“Of course, Hubie’s health is bothering him,” I heard Warner Wolf duly note on radio the other day. “He’s sick of the NBA.”

Ratto On Broncos/Raiders

Posted in Gridiron at 10:17 am by

The San Francisco Chronicle’s Ray Ratto on what used to be one of the more intense rivalries in the NFL, Oakland versus Denver.

You want a stat that helps you get into this game? OK, try 148.

That would be the number of tickets the Raiders returned to the Broncos because they could neither sell them, give them away, or threaten potential litigants with them. One hundred and forty-eight.

And here’s another stat. Fifteen and four. That is Denver’s record against The Swords In The Skull since Mike Shanahan took the job here, which indicates if nothing else Shanahan has gotten back the $250,000 he says the Raiders never paid him, and gotten it back at a rate of interest that would shame a usurer.

Now, let’s understand the likeliest way we know the Raiders couldn’t get rid of their ticket allotment is that some happy imp in the Broncos’ front office made sure the media learned it. This is not information made readily available to the public, and yet it miraculously appeared here Friday.

As for the other number, well, everyone knows it, or can get to it easily. And it proves, more dramatically than anything else, that the Raiders and the Raiders alone have let this once-extraordinary rivalry take on root rot.

I mean, this match has become an absurdity, because when you peel away the history and the mean-spirited recriminations that warm Al Davis’ and Pat Bowlen’s respective hearts, the teams aren’t remotely comparable, which is how you get 15 for one side and four for the other.

Now nothing in football is preordained, and it is supposed to snow like Al Roker’s Own Hell this evening, but because this game is considered the gateway to the Raiders’ doom in 2004, there is reason to watch with rapt attention, because the Broncos already have logged a 31-3 win at Oakland, need the game to stay with San Diego in the AFC West, and could very well hasten the removal of Oakland’s wheels on a season already gone through bad, heading for worse and on target for worst in the Al Era.

L.A. Aints?

Posted in Gridiron at 10:10 am by

Al Hirt must be turning over in his grave. Though that would, of course, defy everything I’ve learned about the decomposition of a human body.

How this news will impact the placement of the Saints-mobile atop the roof of Austin, TX’s Shoal Creek Saloon , I do not know, but this cannot be considered good news for the patrons of said establishment.

Phantoms Win 17th In A Row

Posted in Hockey at 9:58 am by

Congrats to the AHL’s Philadelphia Phantoms and their legion of degenerate fans on the club winning a record 17th consecutive games, following last night’s 3-1 defeat of the Hershey Bears.

(Philly’s Ben Stafford scored a power play goal in the first period, his 3rd in two games)

During a period in which hockey in the U.S. has been reduced to a mere footnote in the sports pages (from its prior status as a slightly longer footnote), hopefully the Phantoms’ achievement will serve as a reminder to the NHL Owners and Players Union alike of the remarkable things that can be accomplished…without anyone noticing.


Stomp-fest Ends In Tears For Cincy , Huggins Gets A Hug From The Wizard

Posted in Basketball, Gridiron at 11:38 pm by

So maybe that pogo action on the Louisville logo wasn™t the greatest idea? And who knew the Cards would be so sensitive about that kinda thing, given that they sold naming rights to their stadium to that lowest of the low rent pizza chains, Papa John™s?

A little more to be proud of, then, for Cincinnati’s Men’s basketball team, after beating Purdue 79-59 as part of the John Wooden Tradition doubleheader. And who better to soak up the glory of this made-for-TV showcase than Bob Huggins., truly the modern incarnation of the Wizard Of Westwood, what with the former’s committment to the student-athlete, staying puke-free, etc.

Bears Sign George

Posted in Gridiron at 10:25 pm by

If Jeff George had a brain to match his right arm, he’d be a zillionaire several times over. As is, the much-traveled QB is lucky to be working — if 3rd on the Chicago depth chart qualifies.

The following are QB’s more deserving of a shot in ’04 than Jeff George :

Doug Flutie
David Woodley
Dave Brown
Chris Simms
Bubby Brister
Ryan Leaf
Todd Marinovich
Akili Smith

Texas Rangers “Intrigued” By Suicidal Notion

Posted in Baseball at 7:45 pm by

From T.R. Sullivan in last Wednesday’s Fort Worth Star-Telegram :

Free-agent infielder Todd Walker, who lives in Louisiana, might be in town over the Thanksgiving to visit family, and a face-to-face visit with Rangers officials is a possibility. Walker and Tino Martinez are two free agents the Rangers have targeted to fill their designated-hitter position.

Speaking of designated-hitter candidates, word is Mo Vaughn is looking for a job and is willing to come into somebody’s camp as a non-roster player on an incentive-laden contract. The idea has intrigued the Rangers.

You might be saying, “what do they have to lose?” How about some springtime AB’s for someone who might still have a career ahead of him? Do players like Michael Young and Alfonso Soriano really need any help finding which strip joint in the Sunrise, AZ area has the best all-you-can-eat buffet, or can”t they figure that out on their own?

More Gift Ideas For The Mushnick Family

Posted in Sports Journalism at 6:58 pm by

Phil’s kids get JFK Reloaded (if only T.O. could be the lone gunman!) and Dad gets a gander of this, for a column that should write itself.

In Homage to “Buy Nothing Day” CSTB Celebrates “Write Nothing Original Day”

Posted in The Marketplace at 4:21 pm by

from CSTB, 11/29/03.

If you’re gonna take a stand against rampant consumerism and all-encompassing commercial exploitation of everything that moves, abstaining for a day is pretty fucking weak. How about “Buy Nothing EVER”? Certainly a more ambitious plan, but if you’re gonna be cheap most of the time anyway, you might as well embrace an activist agenda (hopefully distracting others from your personality defects).

There is something on the Adbusters site about “Buy Nothing All Year” which eloquently talks about bartering for goods and services, but I’ve got two non-philosophical hang-ups with this :

1) my ISP isn’t down with this bartering thing. They want cash, cheque or credit card payment in exchange for reading Adbusters’ wildly entertaining fantasies. I offered to mow their lawn, but no dice.

2) the plan seems sensible, if a bit utopian. But nowhere does Adbusters explain how I’m supposed to get a $29 DVD player

(Xmas shoppers go berserk upon hearing the news that Jandek’s ‘The Door Behind’ is on sale for $7.99)

In the midst of MP3/flat-screen mania, I am feeling a bit sad for the toy companies. Perhaps they shouldn’t have laughed so hard when I proposed the Fur-covered Slinky.

Omar, Pedro Break Bread

Posted in Baseball at 3:06 pm by

The Associated Press is reporting that free agent P Pedro Martinez had dinner with Mets GM Omar Minaya on Thursday evening. The AP neglected to mention what either man ordered, if there was wine, if they had desert or went to a movie afterwards. In any event, I hope they didn’t attend a screening of “Bridget Jones : The Edge Of Reason” because I have it on good authority that film really sucks.

QPR 1, Cardiff City 0

Posted in Football at 11:56 am by

(Rangers’ Marc Bircham celebrates Danny Shittu’s first half goal with a questionable public display of affection)

Rangers scored some measure of revenge against their foes from the ’03 Div. 2 Playoff Final, beating Cardiff City 1-0 in a late morning contest at Loftus Road. Defender Danny Shittu, seemingly all the way back from his devestating knee injury, struck QPR’s winner past Tony Warner in the 23rd minute. Following this impressive rebound from last week’s 6-1 drubbing at Leeds, Rangers solidified their hold on the 5th spot (36 points) in the Fizzy Drinks League Championship, and trail 2nd place Wigan (who drew today at Reading) by 5 points for the 2nd automatic promotion spot.

QPR manager Ian Holloway, hospitalized following the massacre at Elland Road, had the weekend off to recuperate and/or watch his name fall out of contention for the Wolverhampton job.

Expanding The Menu At Oldham Athletic

Posted in Food, Football at 11:32 am by

(bhuna on the burner in Oldham)

From Paul McInnes in today’s Guardian :

Here’s a word from Alan Hardy, the chief executive of Oldham Athletic: “Chicken tikka massala has become the country’s favourite takeaway dish outstripping the traditional fish and chips in recent years.” Interesting. “So the suggestion from a fan about introducing a curry dish got me thinking.” It wasn’t long before that thinking resulted in a tie-up with top Oldham curry house New Holland Tandoori, making the Latics the first club to flog authentic curry inside a football ground. Next Tuesday, for the LDV Vans tie with Hartlepool, chicken bhuna will be available in the main stand. The future is served.

Mirabelli Extended

Posted in Baseball at 10:17 am by

While Boston’s negotiations with C Jason Varitek continue, ‘Tek’s capable back-up, Doug Mirabelli, is expected to sign an extension with the club shortly writes the Boston Globe’s Bob Hohler.

Mirabelli, a free agent for the first time, appeared poised to nearly double his salary from the $825,000 he earned last season. While serving primarily as Tim Wakefield’s personal catcher, Mirabelli set career highs in batting average (.281), runs (27), RBIs (32), on-base percentage (.368), and slugging percentage (.525).

The Sox reached the tentative accord while a number of teams eyed Mirabelli as a prospective backup amid significant movement in the catching ranks. In recent days, the Brewers signed Oakland free agent Damian Miller, the Twins picked up Florida free agent Mike Redmond, the Angels exercised Bengie Molina’s option, and the A’s were close to acquiring Jason Kendall from the Pirates for lefthanders Mark Redman and Arthur Rhodes.

Though the Sox placed a high priority on retaining Mirabelli, they have no plans to significantly expand his backup role and remain committed to pursuing Varitek, the top catcher on the free agent market. The Sox have offered Varitek about $36 million over four years while he has sought $55 million over five years, and the sides may need a while to resolve their differences. (With the Sox expected to offer Varitek salary arbitration by Dec. 7, he would have until Dec. 19 to decide whether to accept. If he were to reject the offer, the sides would have until Jan. 8 to reach a deal or forfeit their rights to negotiate until May 1.)

Ben Schwartz On Sammy & The Mets

Posted in Baseball at 8:24 am by

All cranky on Saturday morning, Ben writes

So what’s going through the minds of New York media hacks who seriously think Sammy Sosa can’t wait to play in Shea? Ken Davidoff’s Newsday column is as retarded as Mike Lupica’s a week ago on Sammy. The average Cub fan “hates” Sosa like Barry Bonds is supposedly the most hated man in baseball. Keep this in mind: Sammy has trade approval. Do people think the Mets will give Sammy MORE money than the Cubs? Will they somehow convince him that the Mets will make the playoffs this season? Do they think this is A-Rod 2005? Sammy is supposed to take a multi-million dollar pay cut to hang out with Minaya? Why doesn’t he just hire him as his personal trainer and keep the money? Meanwhile, Sammy’s own agent (and Moises Alou) are downplaying Sammy’s problems with Dusty Baker, backpedaling from asking MLB for leeway in Sammy’s options, and Sammy himself hasn’t shot off his mouth in nearly a month about it. He’s currently in Paris where he has a better chance of playing next year than New York. Jeeziz, even the pizza’s better in Chicago.

Ben, I hope you would agree that the Daily News’ Adam Rubin is very much a member of the New York media. The following is from his column on Thanksgiving day.

Faced with a large financial gap with the Cubs, Mets insiders portray the chances of obtaining the 36-year-old slugger as increasingly unlikely. The pessimism comes despite the apparent willingness of the players’ association to allow Sosa to waive a clause in his contract that guarantees his 2006 salary if he’s traded.

The Cubs, who want to unload Sosa, owe the slugger $17.5 million in 2005, with an option for `06 of $18 million that can be bought out for $4.5 million. If Sosa is traded, the contract automatically kicks in for `06, and a $19 million option for `07 with the same buyout going into effect. Either way, there’s also a $3.5 million termination fee on top of the buyout.

While the Cubs are believed to be willing to eat the $8 million buyout and termination fee, there still would be a roughly $4.5 million gap between Sosa’s `05 salary and the money owed to Cliff Floyd during the final two years of his contract. Floyd, midway through a four-year, $26 million deal, is the logical choice to be shipped to Wrigley Field in a Sosa swap. Sosa likely would want compensation for waiving his clause, also undermining a deal.


Fred Jones Takes Over

Posted in Basketball at 11:05 pm by

(“Mrs. Jones is 17 and 6 and 24″ makes absolutely no sense)

It was the Psychedelic Furs’ Richard Butler who wrote “Mr. Jones can turn you on / and turn you off again.” I have no idea what that means, though I suspect he wasn’t talking about Indiana’s’ Fred Jones.

(Fred – into you like a train)

With the Pacers trying to survive without Ron Artest, Stephen Jackson, Jermaine O’Neal, Rik Smits or Geoge McGinnis, Jones’ performances this week have been a revelation, none more so than tonight’s 23 point performance in the Pacers’ 82-77 win over the Bobcats.

Longhorns Best Aggies In Bizzaro-land

Posted in Gridiron at 10:20 pm by

In my nearly 4 decades of watching college football, I’ve never seen a ball dislodged during a goal-line leap, run back the length of the field for a touchdown. And I’ve never seen a blocked PAT attempt recovered by the defense in the end zone, only to be ruled a one-point safety.

Today, I saw both of these things take place within an hour of each other. It was either this local derby, the Bridget Jones sequel, the Shelley Long death watch or go buy Ben Schwartz his Cubs smoking jacket. I’m sure you’ll agree I made the right choice.

Mets Officially Hire Down

Posted in Baseball at 9:59 pm by

As expected, Rick Down was named the new hitting coach of the New York Mets today. What wasn’t expected was that said hiring would be announced prior to January. The New York Times’ Lee Jenkins explains in tomorrow’s paper.

George Steinbrenner and the Yankees fired Rick Down twice in the past 10 years, but they balked at the notion of giving him up when their crosstown rivals came calling earlier this month.

After a tug of war between New York’s baseball neighbors, the Mets announced yesterday that they had hired Down to be their hitting coach. Willie Randolph, the Mets’ first-year manager, completed his staff by adding Tom Nieto as the major league catching instructor.

The other coaches were introduced earlier in the week, but the Mets had to wait for permission from the Yankees to announce an agreement with Down. Although Randolph spoke with Down in early November, Steinbrenner did not believe Randolph had gone through the proper channels and refused to give permission for a formal interview.

Mets General Manager Omar Minaya and Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman cleared up the disagreement and said it was the result of miscommunication. With Down and Randolph, the Mets now have the Yankees’ former hitting coach and third-base coach, who became friends while on the same staff.

“Beyond a professional relationship, Willie and I are friends,” Down said in a telephone interview yesterday. “It’s nice to have somebody who wants you.”

The Red Storm’s Self-Imposed Penalties

Posted in Basketball at 6:31 pm by

There’s something a bit disengenious about the St. John’s athletic department volunteering to skip the next two years of post-season appearances given that the odds of their earning a berth in anything other than the N.I.T. were pretty slim to begin with.

On the bright side for St. John’s, new hire Norm Roberts’ head coaching C.V.. includes 24 wins and 84 losses at national powerhouse Queens College, a record almost as impressive as fellow Q.C. alum Jerry Seinfeld’s 0-0 mark.

A.I. Stole The Ball…

Posted in Basketball at 5:50 pm by

…and in a terribly weak Atlantic Division, Iverson’s Sixers resemble a playoff team, despite Iverson’s suspect backing cast (and his propensity to hoist ‘em up whether he has a shot or not).

Fan Threatens To Attend Game, Make Noise…

Posted in Basketball at 5:06 pm by

…and the Raptors, clearly unnerved by someone promising to buy a ticket, were prepared to deal with the crisis.

“The person who wrote the message said: ‘I’m coming to the game and I’m going to raise hell and make an issue,’ and it was clear that this person was upset with the quality of Vince Carte’s play.

“So we weren’t taking chances and we closely monitored the situation. Gladly, as we had anticipated, nothing came out of it.”

I don’t mean to be so flippant about this. Perhaps in Canada, “I’m coming to the game…and I’m gonna make an issue” is a euphamism for “I’m going to stab Vince Carter in the face”.

Benson & Wife Have Had Sex In Pittsburgh (At Least Twice)

Posted in Baseball at 2:14 pm by

Though my subscription to FHM has lapsed, I’d like to thank the gutter-minded Jon Solomon for forwarding .the following item from today’s New York Post and gossip-hound Richard Johnson.

Mets pitcher Kris Benson’s outspoken wife, Anna, is at it again. The blabbermouthed bombshell ” who peels down in the new FHM ” told the mag about how she helped her hubby when he couldn’t stomach his pain medication after arm surgery. “We were flying home from the hospital and we had to squeeze into the plane’s bathroom together so I could stick suppositories up his [bleep] to keep him from throwing up,” she revealed. Benson also shared that the couple hasn’t had sex at Shea Stadium yet. “We’ve done Three Rivers, PNC Park and the Pirates’ spring-training camp,” Anna said.

Yeah, well, far be for me to suggest that Anna and Kris aren’t a worldly couple until they’ve done it in the Harbor Park men’s room. If nothing else, David Cone can always vouch for Shea’s bullpen as a suitable masturbation venue.

Mariners Close In On Delgado

Posted in Baseball at 11:02 am by

The Seattle Post-Intelligencer’s John Hickey on the Mariners’ pursuit of free agent 1B Carlos Delgado.

Despite a report on Toronto-area radio Wednesday night, the Mariners continue to be the front-runner in the Carlos Delgado sweepstakes.

Baseball sources said the Mariners have asked Delgado, the first baseman and cleanup hitter for the Toronto Blue Jays for the better part of a decade, if he would be willing to bat third in Seattle.

Delgado has confirmed that he’d be willing to make the switch, the sources said. That would leave the Mariners free to follow the addition of Delgado with another move in free agency, adding either first baseman Richie Sexson or third baseman Troy Glaus.

Seattle could still use Delgado as the cleanup hitter if the Mariners are unable to land Sexson or Glaus. But the idea in the Mariners front office seems to be that in an ideal world, Sexson or Glaus would bat cleanup and Delgado third in the 2005 Seattle lineup.